Saturday, March 8, 2008

A Few Answers..

Hoping for an opening of March 25....a few weeks later then planned.
Yes, we will honor all valid "bula" gift certificates sold prior to January.
Yes, I did the 07 NYC Marathon...4:56, but vow for a 3:30 next Nov.
50 Beers? Really?.....NO, 61 beers, really!
Yes, I will autograph your copy of the book Frank.
Yes, we have a website but it is currently under construction
so all you see is the home page. It should be functioning in the next few weeks.
Salt is at 109 rt 206 S. Across the street from the Shop-rite Plaza in Byram.
Yes, the salt lamps will be available at Salt, stay tuned.
No, a salt lamp is NOTHING like a salt-lick.
No, Bigfoot does not live under the man-hole cover in the dining room Mike.
I am a CIA (Culinary Institute of America) grad. Tony is a Johnson & Wales grad.
yankees - Mets.....Mets
Our phone # is 973.347.SALT (7258)
We are the FIRST gastropub in NJ.
Yes, we will have live music. Starting in May.

Friday, March 7, 2008

My most expensive Starbucks ever..or..shitty waste of time!

This morning Tony, Jeremiah and myself left at 11:30 to head into the city to another auction. We drove the hour or so it takes to get into Manhattan, spent another half hour driving in circles in Mid-town lunch time traffic trying to find a place to park, and ended up having to park in a lot anyway, a lot which charged me 26.00 for up to 10 hours and an additional 10.00 for an oversized car. This was after spending the 8.00 it now costs for the honor of being able to drive into the city, and the 25.00 in gas that my "oversized car uses to get me into the city. So let's see this is now what, like hmm, 69.00 frickin dollars. Ok but it will all be worth it in the end, you know with finding everything we are looking for at the auction and what not. So after parking we walk the 8 or so blocks to the restaurant. When we get there, we walk in, take a quick look around and realize the place is full of just absolute SHIT! Broken, dirty, old, greasy, SHIT!! What a drag. So needless to say we spend literally 1 minute and 10 seconds in the place before turning around and leaving. Fortunately on the corner was a Starbucks, so I grab a large redeye for 4.00 and head back to the parking garage, which by now has been about 10 minutes since we left. We get back to the garage, which by the way has not even moved my car from where we had left it when we dropped it off, pay the 36.00 and head on back to Byram. So my point of this is that that was the most expensive cup of coffee I have ever had......which was 73.00 and the 3 1/2 hours of my time. Just another day in the life of SALT.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008


Did another auction on Monday and Tuesday in Manhattan at the Famous "Evelyn Lounge" on 78th and Columbus. Picked up a few neat things as well as two convection ovens. Unfortunately for Tony and I the ovens weigh about 195,000 lbs. and they happened to be in a below ground kitchen (use your imagination). So not only that, but the truck I rented to go into the city and pick up the stuff, well, it had a hydrolic lift, one that unfortunately did not work. So after humping them up a flight of stairs we also had to lift them another 4ft to get them into the truck.(I forgot to mention that it was also pouring out as well) Fun. A big "Thank-You" to all of those who were there on the other end though to help us unload the truck and actually get the 2 - 195,000 ovens up a flight of stairs (deck stairs) and into the salt kitchen. Thats you Chris, Jim, Erion, Bernie, Dave, Nick, and Jeremiah.
Today was a day of organizing the restaurant, trying to make sense of everything and finding everything its place. The ceiling in the bar area is just about done. Women's room is 90% there with the men's room getting started tomm.
Today was also a meeting with the NJ Herald who wants to do a story on "NJ's first Gastropub", and trying to help us explain what exactly that is. I think it went well. They sat with Laurie and I as well as Tony, Jennifer, and Erion -"The Dream Team" and allowed to us expalin exactly what we are.
We also met with our "wine consultant" and liquor distributor Robert Hannemann who is helping us put together our wine and beer menu (by the way, we will be having 61 beers offered, from all styles as well as about 25 wines). Bob has really been a tremendous help and we are really excited about the menus we have put together.
Tomorrow its back into the city again for Tony and I, looking for those last few items we want for the kitchen. Then its back to Salt to finish up some moving of some equipment into the kitchen, and then.....
it never ends..
stay tuned..

Sunday, March 2, 2008


OK, we're back from a long weekend of research and hard work. We will share with you our greuling adventure which you can also follow along with a picture by picture guide.(working your way from the bottom up you can follow our adventure) I must warn you, this was long and arduous, but we figured we had to do it in the name of research for our new restaurant. (We also figured it will be our last hoo-rah for quite some time once we get this thing running.) So here goes....
Saturday started out by heading uptown to pick up my racing number for a race I was running Sunday morning. From there we headed over to see a chef/owner friend of mine on the Upper East Side, no luck, he was off..on a Saturday, go figure. Now the journey begins. We get downtown about 3 ish, get our stuff into the apartment and right away head for coffee. "Think Coffee" on Mercer St. Knowing its going to be a busy evening I go for the large black coffee "double red eye"(2 shots of espresso). Now we are off and running. Over to The Spotted Pig on 11th st. and Greenwich (just around the corner from home) to see if we can get in for an early dinner. Well, that would be fine, as long as we did'nt mind waiting 1 1/2 hours and order from a limited menu (4 items, one of which was blood pudding) Yea right! away we go. We head over to Soho to see if we can score a table at Balthazar, a friend of mine from Le Cirque days is the chef there. No go! Fully booked unless we wanted to wait at the bar for a seat there and only order from the raw bar. (Did I mention my friend is the chef there? Oh yea, but Laurie thought it would be a terrible bother to speak with him on a Sat evening at 4:30, did I mention he was a friend of mine?) Back out onto the street....and time for another coffee....Starbucks, and another large "redeye", just a single this time (I do have to get up early for a race in the morning). We do a bunch of window shopping in the village, cruise around some old stomping grounds, check out how gentrified the old neighborhood has gotten and then hoof it back over to The Spotted Pig to try our luck again. Now its about 6:30 or so and the guy at the door, with a real asshole attitude told us it would be about 2 hours. Needless to say we went on our way again. In our wandering we stumbled across a place I had been reading alot about on the internet, a place called Bar Fry on Carmine Street, how lucky are we. Lucky for us we hit it just before the dinner crowds started. Food was excellent, there thing is Tempura Fried everything....which we tried. Eggplant, crab, and avacado with about 6 different dipping sauces. I also tried a warm tofu custard, which was different, but good and Laurie had a butternut soup, also good. Then Laurie had a Crab Po-Boy, and I had a Tuna Poke (and half of hers)...really, really good...dessert was home made ice cream and sorbet...blood orange, lychee, and a burnt sugar i/c, they were ok, nothing great, but good. From there we had to head back home to get dressed to head over to the Blue Note jazz club on West 3rd off of 6th. We were invited by a great friend through Bula, Emedin Rivera, who was playing in Ben E. King's band that evening. So off to the Blue Note for a 10:30 set. Got there and the place was packed, sold out shows all week. Thanks to Emedin we were in. What a great show, Laurie and I had no idea of the songs this guy had in his catalog, every song the guy did was a huge hit, not only that, he was also inducted into the rock and roll hall of fame not to long ago...go figure, we had no idea. Anyway, like I said, it was a great show and it was great to see Emedin. NOW....12:30 and we were starting to feel a bit hungry again and Laurie wanted a glass of wine, so once to The Spotted Pig to try to get a late dinner. (Third time has got to be a charm, right?) It was, we got there (asshole was no longer at the door) and were brought right to a table in the upstairs dining room...Packed!! This place is doing something right. We ordered a few appetizers and salads, couple of drinks and we were loving life. Place has a great vibe, real good food, loud as hell, but they pull it off. Our journey to mecca (as far as gastropubs in America go) was fulfilled, and it lived up to its rep. Very good. We are finally headed home around 2-2:30 am. Home in time to set the alarm for 6:30 and try and get a few decent hours of sleep before the alarm sounds for the race. Thats when the starbucks started doing its thing! Needless to say, it was'nt a good sleep. So it was up again at 6:30, shower, dress, and out the door, both of us (Laurie is a real trooper)and head straight for, what else? Dunkin' Donuts! We all know "America runs on Dunkin' Donuts". With my stomach still a bit queezy from all the coffee the night before, and a race ahead of me, and no real bathrooms to speak of, I took mine just "small, and black". Off to the Uptown #1 train to Washington Heights. We were off to meet another friend up at the race and had no luck running into each other, so it was a tiring, lonely race...and I did my personal best! Again, go figure. I ended up finishing 631 out of 3259, so I was real happy! Back downtown to shower, change and do some more research! After getting ourselves back together at the apartment it was out to the street again. This time right across the street to The Magnolia Bakery for some cupcakes to bring home a presents. So we loaded up on cupcakes and headed out to try and find some lunch/brunch. We headed right for McDougal St. to one of the first places Laurie and I went on a date, The Olive Tree Cafe. A real kind of hole in the wall kind of place, but solid food and awesome slate tables you can right on, black and white movies playing on the wall, and great memories. So we ordered up some eggs and roasted red potato, a couple of black coffees (starting to see a trend, or pattern here?) and we were set! Now with a good breakfast down we headed on over to the Lower East Side to see if there was anything interesting in any of the sidewalk junk places, perhaps some cool stuff to hang in Salt! Nothing really there so we hit the Bowery to see if any restaurant supply places were open...sure enough, but the only one open was so over priced I thought Laurie was having seizures when she looked at the prices. Quickly out of there! Down the block to Katz's Deli on Houston, it's now about 1:00, and figure we'll grab a few sandwiches for lunch and head back to the apartment. Not a chance in hell, the line to get a 15 dollar turkey sandwich was insane, another day! We were'nt much hungry at this point anyway so we bounced around the village and back up to Bleecker to grab some Fresh Coffee Beans. Porto Rico (that's how its spelt)Importing Co. at 201 Bleecker. Best coffee beans in Manhattan! We checked out all of the beans and decided on a French Mocha Dark Roast, can't wait to try it! From there it was down to a small book store in the West Village to check out some books on wine and a book I am trying to find on Andy Warhol. Score, on both of them. Laurie got a great book on wines from around the world, and I found just what I was looking for on Warhol, so it was a nice find. Our day is winding down at this point and its time to start thinking about getting home soon. So it was down the street from the apartment again to The White Horse Tavern on Hudson St. Famous for being the last place Dylan Thomas (the writer) had a drink before going home to the Chelsea Hotel to die of alcoholism at the age of 39 (just a little trivia). Anyway, a couple of hearty burgers and we were off. Back to the Magnolia Bakery for some cupcakes for Laurie, then back to the apartment to pack up.

And that was our weekend of research! hope you're still awake!
And hope the pics helped! Stay tuned!